It’s well recognized that increased exposure to new things can make a person feel tired. For example, language (my favorite subject.) When I began Arabic lessons with Kifah, I would find myself quite tired by the last ten minutes of the session. After about 18 months, that tiredness disappeared. Now I can function for hours on end in the language without feeling any more tired than I would in English.
As noted a couple weeks ago, I’ve begun experimenting with “zero-effort” language reactivation with French and German. The reason I really get to call it zero-effort is I’m taking a social thing I was doing anyway- having tea with my mom- and doing it in French and German. This only works because she is fluent in those languages. I understand German quite well, and French comme ci comme ça. I can communicate in German, though it lacks a certain grace.
Since I’m not setting aside new time to do this activity- I would see my mother anyways- it’s not like adding anything to the life program. We can talk about the same sort of things as we would in English, so there’s nothing missing on the level of connecting through communication. And love of languages is something we share.
In addition, there’s the French Breakfast once a week- an hour of croissants and coffee before the day gets started. Using the same logic, croissants and coffee are something I do anyways, so why not in French?
However, I am noticing that those couple of hours of additional foreign language do have an effect: I’m a little more tired. I know it’s temporary and the half-life will be shorter than it was with Arabic. And it’s worth it.